Monette Council addresses construction concerns
Monette City Council addressed concerns about new construction, as well as park and street improvements during the Monday, Feb. 26, meeting.
Mayor Chub Qualls explained that Wastewater Superintendent Jerry Lamar was not in attendance to give the new city sewer update, due to an emergency softball accident involving his daughter Chasney. Qualls reported the dirt work had been completed and the chat would be delivered soon. Heavy rainfall had delayed the progress on the entrance road, but work will resume as soon as possible.
Alderman Christian Nuckles addressed concerns about rebar being left under the dirt, that needs to be removed, saying, “If we paid for it to be removed, it should be removed. It will continually be a hold. I am afraid all that stuff will work its way to the surface.”
“The engineers will be here tomorrow and we can talk to them about it,” Councilman Bob Blankenship said.
Councilman Brandon Decker reviewed the approved bid of $9,775 from Davis Playgrounds, in Maumelle, for City Park playground equipment installation.
“The city will be responsible for pushing the pea gravel out of the way and replacing it afterwards,” Decker said. “The old equipment is in the parking lot. If it can be fixed it might be reused at the baseball park.”
“If it had been repairable we would have left it where it was,” said councilman Mark Rolland. “Some of it came out in chunks.”
Decker reviewed plans for further improvements to the park, which included replacement or repair of park benches and picnic tables. He recommended purchasing five new benches and one or two picnic tables, with comfort also being a new consideration.
Rolland recommended the powder coating for an option on benches, and Nuckles mentioned that some benches need raising up.
“I’ll get more information from dealers and sales people and talk with Wayne Davis on the new benches and tables,” Decker said.
The council approved $4,000 for purchase of park benches and picnic tables. Repairs and renovation will be made to those that are salvageable.
“Perhaps we can get help from the BIC agriculture department later on to help us with building some new benches,” alderman Tom Carroll said. “We also need repairs to other parks, with fence repair.”
“The Monette Youth Association met last Sunday and will work at the ball park this Saturday,” Decker said. “We can review needs down there then. We are also looking at grants to help us with building a bathroom."
Nuckles expressed concern over handicapped parking at the ball park, and telephone poles in the center of the parking area being a hinderance.
“We can do what needs to be done this year and look at paving a strip in the parking lot when pavers are here,” Carroll said. “Perhaps we can add four or five more handicapped signs on the left side of the gate.”
Police Commissioner Blankenship reported the current Police Department building needs replacing, due to structure complications and lack of space. "Module buildings could be purchased for less than $20,000," he said.
“It’s like a dungeon in there right now,” Nuckles said. “With the $35,000 we have now, we could borrow $30,000 more and build a good one.”
Blankenship said the city now has property east of the fire station that would make a good location for a permanent building.
Councilmen will have a working meeting on March 12 to work on plans and specifications for the Police Department building.
Street Commissioner Rolland listed proposed street improvement plans, with necessary cutbacks. The original list contained work on eight different streets, due to poor conditions and lack of access. The city has requested assistance from Arkansas State Aid Street Committee of the Arkansas Municipal League.
Anna Clark has been approved as a city hall office assistant, to work an average of two days a week, or as needed. A job description is being defined for this position.
Nuckles expressed concerns over drainage of the ditch on the west side of Monette Co-Op. Blankenship listed flooding on Fisher and Honnis as a concern also. Talk ensued about the addition of drainage ditches, but no decisions were made.
The next regularly scheduled Monette City Council meeting will be Monday, March 26.